Sitting in the heart of Midtown Toronto lies the Yonge Eglinton Centre a popular mixed-use office complex and destination for shopping & dining. Currently, the 750,000 square foot space comprises two office towers above a three-storey mall which includes over 75 stores, anchored by a grocery store and a multi-screen cinema. The centre also acts as an entry point for the Eglinton subway station directly beneath the complex. Since the intersection will also become a major transit hub when the Eglinton Crosstown line opens, this already-busy complex is ripe for revitalization and intensification.
Accordingly, developer and owner RioCan REIT is in the process of an $100 million dollar makeover of the Yonge Eglinton Centre. Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects have designed both the renovation and expansion of the retail spaces, and the expansion and reclad of the office towers.
At street level, an extension to the podium dubbed 'The Cube' is now under construction. It will add 40,000 square feet of retail space, extending the existing mall towards Eglinton Avenue West into the existing open plaza on the southeast corner of the site. The Cube will feature a combination of glass and metal finishings with extensive fenestration at ground level, blending the shops into the streetscape, and creating a welcoming and open entrance for pedestrians.
Atop the cube will be a new public terrace which will be open during TTC operation hours. It will be reached by a glassed-in elevator from ground level. RioCan intends the new space to be both an oasis for people to relax in, as well as a space for events. Much of the programming that has occurred over the years in the square will now be moved up to the garden terrace, while a portion of the square will remain at ground level and will be able to host some events as well.
In the existing retail space, work is already underway to renovate it to create a consistent look for it and the new Cube retail area. A main focus is the transformation of the "Great Hall" to serve as an iconic destination point and hub. The hall is being remodeled to feature large-scale installations, multimedia displays, a water feature, and streamlined glass balconies as shown above, while also becoming more accessible with a new elevator reaching all levels.
The office towers currently stand at 22 and 30-storeys, but will see five and seven storey additions, with a final height of 27 and 37-storeys respectively, the new floors being added above the existing mechanical levels on top. A date for starting the vertical extension of the towers has not yet been set, while the recladding—with a new reflective metal and glass curtain wall—will start on the lower floors of the towers in the areas adjacent to the new retail podium.
Work at the Yonge Eglinton Centre is expected to complete in stages. The existing mall work should be done by December this year, while the Cube will open in mid-2015. Tower completion date is not known yet.